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Rodwell Cutting

Rodwell Cutting Local Geological Site (LGS) and Friends of the Rodwell Trail (FoRT) Dripping Well Project

The workday on 3rd August 2020 was attended by Alan Holiday (DIGS), John Garrod (FoRT) and Geoff Pettifer (DIGS and FoRT). Not a lot of people, but enough to shift some heavy logs whilst maintaining social spacing. What we achieved is shown in Photos 1, 2 and 3 below.

Photo 1. Looking south along the silt-filled ditch from the watercress bed below the main part of the Dripping Well. We placed long logs and thin branches parallel to the tarmac trail and covered them with silt hoed out of the ‘stinky bog’. This looks a bit messy at the moment but the silt on the trail side of the logs will gradually dry and solidify, and can then be topped up with further silt. The aim is to provide a vegetated safety margin between the trail and the wetland, but not to inhibit surface water runoff from the trail in very wet weather. The water feature containing the watercress has a slight northwards stream flow and it is hoped that this will become a valued part of the landscape within the cutting.

We also used small hand tools to clear some overhanging vegetation from the rock face, so that the geological formations and tufa deposits can be clearly seen. There is some more light clearing to be
done, but no major removal of vegetation until the autumn/winter, after the bird nesting season. It is hoped that water figwort presently growing on the rock face will spread to the revitalised water feature.

Photos 2 and 3 show a small log weir that was installed to measure the combined flow of water from the Dripping Well springs, for comparison with local rainfall records. The flow was timed into a plastic measuring cylinder originally used in developing photographs. In due course, it is hoped to obtain funding to measure water quality. The weir is sealed in with clay excavated during a previous DIGS workday in the cutting, but some more clay needs to be emplaced beneath the downstream side of the weir to make sure it is reasonably watertight. The long term aim is for the whole geological and groundwater complex to become a local educational resource.
Photo 2. Log weir installed on the stream below the Dripping Well immediately after it was constructed.
Photo 3. A few hours after installation, there is a steady flow of 20ml/s over the weir.